Concerns about this cost increasing centers on the growing problems of weeds resistant to herbicides, specifically glyphosate of late.

This is evident in many weed control presentations lately, where cultivation has become more of a focal point when researchers talk about weed control. More than half of University of Arizona weed specialist Bill McCloskey’s presentation covered innovative work he is doing with cultivation techniques.

UCCE Farm Advisor Steve Wright from Tulare County said overall, California farmers are meeting the challenge of herbicide resistance better than those in other parts of the U.S. This is partly due to the fact most farmers in the West did not abandon pre-plant herbicides, as was done in other areas when herbicide-resistant cotton and corn became widely adopted. The need for cultivation to facilitate irrigation as well as crop rotation also has somewhat minimized the chances of widespread herbicide resistance.

At the recent Beltwide Cotton Conference in Orlando, the new innovation in weed control where herbicide resistance has become rampant was hooded sprayers. This technology was widely used for post directed weed control before herbicide resistant crops.

There were no presentations on hooded sprayers at CWSS.

The West has not escaped the herbicide resistance problem with horseweed, ryegrass, fleabane and yellow nutsedge identified as resistant to glyphosate in California.

While the problems may not be rampant in most areas, it is serious in the areas where dairies are concentrated. Wright said he sees increasingly more herbicide-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant corn crops used for dairy feed.